“Harry Potter” Producer Discusses The Spin-off Film “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them”

October 3, 2013

A couple weeks ago, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. announced that an adaptation of her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a popular supplement to her Potter series, was in the works. The announcement revealed that the film will be set in the same world as Harry Potter, but follow magizoologist Newt Scamander, a professor of magical creatures, and take place 70 years before Harry’s journey.

EW caught up with David Heyman, who produced all eight of the original Harry Potter films, on the red carpet of Gravity and asked him for some more details.

Heyman confirmed that he will be producing the new film and that Rowling hasn’t turned in a finished script just yet, but that “Jo is at work”. “She’s not doing it for any other reason other than she loves the world and she had a story that she wanted to tell,” he said.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” he continued. “She doesn’t have to go back to this world, but something pulled her back. This is not Harry Potter. This is not Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This is a separate story within a universe related to the Potter universe.”

When asked about which creatures we might see in the film, Heyman simply said with a grin, “We follow Newt on his adventures”.

The producer also acknowledged that Rowling won’t be running out of material any time soon. “The fact that she’s going to this world means there are stories to tell,” he said. “When I was doing the Harry Potters, what was clear to me is that Jo’s knowledge of this world is infinite. What you read in the books was just the surface of her knowledge. She had notebook upon notebook of stuff. I would call her and say, ‘What’s the sixth use of dragon’s blood?’ and she’d have it at her fingertips.”

“In the fifth film, I think it was, we had the Black family tree,” he recalled. “I called her, and literally 20 minutes later I receive this family tree, via fax in those days, with a hundred names and about six generations with birthdays, death dates, marriages, all figured out. She knew it.”

That’s good to hear. Some of the best stories have these fantastical worlds built around them. I feel it’s one of the reasons that Star Wars is so popular, because the world/universe is fully realized.

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